Probe Busts Terror Plot
17-month FBI undercover investigation has
led to charges against six men who allegedly
tried to amass a small arsenal for a planned
attack on soldiers at the U.S. Army base at
Fort Dix in New Jersey.
six menincluding three residing in the
U.S. illegallywere arrested Monday night
by FBI agents, Immigration and Customs Enforcement
(ICE) officers, and state and local authorities
as they prepared to buy a cache of assault
weapons from a man working with the FBI. Five
of the men were charged Tuesday in U.S. District
Court in Camden with conspiring to kill U.S.
servicemen. A sixth faces illegal firearms
to a criminal complaint filed May 7 by a special
agent in our Philadelphia office, the defendants
traveled several times to the Pocono Mountains
in Pennsylvania for firearms training; collected
an arsenal of handguns, shotguns, and semi-automatic
assault weapons; and conducted surveillance
on Fort Dix and other area military bases.
we dodged a bullet," Jody Weis, Special
Agent in Charge of our Philadelphia office,
said in a press conference Tuesday. "We
may have dodged a lot of bullets."
men are identified in the complaint as Dritan
Duka, Eljvir Duka, Shain Duka, Mohamad Shnewer,
Serdar Tatar, and Agron Abdullahu.
to the complaint, FBI agents were tipped to
the plot in January 2006 when a New Jersey
retail clerk reported that a videotape a customer
wanted transferred to DVD contained "disturbing"
contentyoung men shooting assault weapons
in a militia-like style while calling for
jihad. Our Philadelphia office and our multi-agency
South Jersey Joint Terrorism Task Force quickly
opened an investigation.
March 2006, a cooperating witness infiltrated
the group and over the next year recorded
the group's alleged plans in vivid detail.
Last August, the cooperating witness recorded
one of the group's members explaining to the
others that they could kill at least 100 soldiers
by using rocket-propelled grenades, mortars,
and other weapons.
worry about money," one of the defendants,
Mohamad Shnewer, was recorded saying. "I
have money too as I have been saving money
for this plan for some time." About a
week later, he described Fort Dix as a potential
target, "My intent is to hit a heavy
concentration of soldiers
. You hit four,
five, or six Humvees and light the whole place
[up] and retreat completely without any losses."
the months leading up to Monday's arrest,
the alleged plotters are recorded several
times weighing the merits of additional weapons
purchases. Our cooperating witness claimed
to have access to arms and provided the alleged
plotters a list of weapons for sale. Meanwhile,
he funneled information to the FBI and JTTF
about the alleged plotters' plans as they
early April, one of the alleged plotters,
Ditran Duka, appeared to be ready to purchase
a dangerous cache of weapons, including Russian-made
Kalashnikov semi-automatic rifles, or AKs.
"I want all of the AKs, all the M-16s
I need all the handguns, one of each
he had on the list," Duka is recorded
in making the arrests was provided by the
New Jersey State Police, Cherry Hill Police
Department, Cherry Hill Fire Department, Camden
County Sheriff's Department, Philadelphia
Police Department, Pennsylvania State Police,
Mt. Laurel Police Department, and Burlington
County Prosecutor's Office.
said the case reflects a "brand new form
of terrorism" that authorities are combating
through joint efforts at the federal, state,
and local levels. "Our greatest weapon
against terrorism is unity."
- Report Suspected
Terrorism or Criminal Activity